RUSI Launches New Project on the Strategic Aspects of Civil Nuclear Power

Against the backdrop of a global energy crisis and the quest for green energy, the renaissance of nuclear power appears to be a solution to pressing challenges.

As part of its Proliferation and Nuclear Policy activities, RUSI will be analysing the factors that shape decision-making on civil nuclear cooperation, focusing on the recipient states. Responsible strategic competition in the civil nuclear field requires a nuanced understanding of potential clients.

The project will investigate two main research questions:

  • To what extent have geopolitical and security factors played a role in Romania and Poland’s decision-making on civil nuclear cooperation?
  • Which policy tools will be most effective in shaping these countries’ preferences, and what lessons can be learned from these cases to better understand the factors that will shape future nuclear energy cooperation agreements in other countries?

The policy-informed analysis will offer three crucial insights:

  • An in-depth examination of the factors that shape civil nuclear decision-making.
  • An assessment of the different models of civil nuclear cooperation offered by nuclear suppliers to Romania and Poland, and the security implications of these models.
  • A discussion of the lessons learned from these two case studies and the potential threats posed to partner countries by cooperating in the civil nuclear sector with authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia.


This project is funded by the Stanton Foundation and will be led by Ana Alecsandru, a Research Fellow in the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme.

The project’s initial report will be published in September, based on the findings from the first workshop organised at the end of July with experts in this area. The report and the summary of the discussion will inform the framework that will be applied to the two case studies, with a final report being published next year.

The Stanton Foundation is pleased to award Dr Ana Alecsandru a grant to develop a framework to analyse the factors that impact governments' decisions regarding civil nuclear cooperation. We hope this work will successfully help to understand how future nuclear energy cooperation agreements might be developed and what policy tools would be most effective in this process.

Erica Carere

Programme Officer at the Stanton Foundation

One of the main focuses of the Stanton Foundation is to support policy research in international security, with a particular emphasis on nuclear security.

If you are interested in participating in this research by being interviewed, attending the workshops or sharing past research with us, please contact the project lead, Ana Alecsandru, at

The Nuclear Industry as a Strategic Tool

This project examines the cases of Romania and Poland to provide insights into the geopolitical factors that shape states’ decisions on civil nuclear cooperation agreements.

Strategic and Security Aspects of Civil Nuclear Power

We seek to understand the role that civil nuclear power plays as an instrument of geopolitics, and how to mitigate potential security and safety risks of its spread.


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